tv United Nations 21st Century LINKTV July 12, 2017 8:30pm-9:01pm PDT
♪ shot over our heads ♪ over our heads ♪ then we kissed ♪ as though nothing could fall ♪ ♪ nothing could fall ♪ and the shame ♪ was on the other side ♪ oh, we can beat them ♪ forever and ever ♪ then we could be heroes ♪ just for one day ♪ we can be heroes [fading] ♪ we can be heroes [siren blaring] closed-captioned by burbank, caservices, inc.
narrator: today on "21st century," a global epidemic-- death on the world's roads. can we bring the numbers down? amy: she was our rambunctious, happy little girl, and she'd stand up on the 44 bus andnd sing "the wheels on the bs go 'round and 'round." nanaator: one e and a quarter millionon deaths on the world's roaads every year. kholwe: when i looked at the boy, i thought it was over. man: and here i'm lying g with a broken neck, becausese i got ino a crash 'cause i got distracted and i had a crash. was it worth making the call? the answer's no. narrator: the struggle to make our roads safer around the
amy: she was our rambunctious, happy little girl, and she'd ststand up on n the 4s and sing "the wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round." hsi-pei: she would stand up to someone who was bigger than her and, you know-- amy: in the playground she would stand up anand put her has on her hips. hshsi-pei: and lookok up at the. [both laugh] amy: she was kind of-- hsi-pei: she was like, you move over because i'm m coming throu. amy: i'm coming through. hsi-pei: um...hmm. mother: i don't know where she got that personality. [both laugh] hsi-pei: i i guess therere's a e inin a million chance that t the happens to be a driver driving up to where my daughter was being run over.
and from what i understand, there was a family member that had a dash cam installed. grandma was walking my daughter, hand in h hand, where she wasaso close to her, you couldn't see where my daughter is. and a car coming over making a left turn, and all you know is he went over something. grandma gets knocked down, and she hits s the floor, and then you see the back tire go over something. amy: you know, i was probably screaming and crying, and then we walk into a room with like 15 doctors. you think it's maybe a dream or something, a nightmare. hsi-pei: i mean, it was a lot to take in, thinking your daughter was safe with grandma at her house, expecting to go see her for dinner and having
the rest of the family being there, to all of a sudden your daughter doesn't exist anymore. narrator: after hsi-pei and amy lost t their daughter alallison, they decided they had to do something. hsi-pei: i i think for me, a lot of it is trying to understand what happened, how could it happen, and find meaning behind it, how to prevent this from happening. we still have a son. we later had another child. so, theree's--you k know, there's jt meaning behind this from preventing it from happening ever again for our family.. amy: i'm sorry. all: safe streets! narrator: they helped found an effective campaigning group-- families for safe streets in new york. amy: basically it's a group that you don't want to be a part of. you're either a family member of someone who died in trafficc violence, or you've been severely injured in traffic violence. narrator: they campaign for a lower speed limit in the city.
and in late 2014, new york's default speed limit was lowered to 25 miles per hour from 30. but hsi-pei and amy are still angry that the driver who killed their daughter didn't even have to pay a fine, and his license was revoked for a mere 30 days. amy: stories like ours that the driver has struck and killed our daughter happens every day. the difference in our case is thatat we have a video about it to show ththat our daughter and heher grandma were not at fault. but ototherwise, this happens all te time, and it's whatever the driver says is taken as the truth. narrator: for them, and for families for safe streets, it's not a road accident, it's a road crash. the word accident implies too much, but it's s an acceptable and inevitable phenomenon. polly: we shouldn't accept any fatality. one life lost on our roadways is one life too many. narrator: hsi-pei and amy are
heartened by the fact that new york city has embarked on a campaign called vision zero. the goal--to eliminate road deaths entirely. and in 2015, the city had the lowest number of road fatalities on record at 230. polly: the point of vision zero is we don't accept that fatalities are inevitable. we do believe that we can, between engineering and enforcement and education, the goal is to bring that number down to zero. narrarator: vision zezero is bad on the successful swedish model, which brought road fatalities down to the world's lowest level in that country, 2.7 per 100,000 people per year. part of that campaign was to establish lower speed limits. polly: we lowered our default speed limit from 30 to 25 miles an hour. we pointed out that if you were involved in a crash where unfortunately you hit someone going 30 miles an hour, you're twice as likely to kill that person as if you hit them
at 25. narrator: a second part of successful road safety, engineering, is physically changing the layout of roads. for example, new york's queens boulevard, which had become so notoriously dangerous, it was known as the boulevard of death. polly: well, queens boulevard is a very, very challenging roadway, as you can see, very wide roadway, lots of lanes of traffic, cars driving very quickly. so first of all, we've rationalized the design, closed some of the slip lanes, added a bike lane that you can see behind me, and improved the pedestrian crossing areas so pedestrians have more space and more time to get across the street. narrator: riding bicycles in new york has increased fourfold since 2000, partly made possible and safer by a multiplicity of new bike lanes like these ones. the city also changed the crossing on which allison died, altering the traffic lights to
give pedestrians more time to cross and restricting parking on the corners that block a driver's view. but not all drivers follow the new rules. for example, the car on the left should not be parked on those new white lines. so another allison could be at risk. hsi-pei: new yorkers are always in a hurry. but we challenge drivers to pause and ask, is it worth it? is it worth running over a child because you'rere running late? is it worth picking up the phone when it could mean a family must pick out a grave for ththeir child? is it worth texting a friend when that message could force a father to text the date and time of their child's funeral?
kholwe: when i looked at the boy...when i looked at the boy, i thought it was over. save us. save us. narrator: was this worth it? a school and a busy road in khayelitsha township outside cape town, south africa. early one morning, a taxi was in a hurryry. inga matakwana, a 5-ye-o-old boy w walking with hs 12-year-r-old cous, had d almost reached h his school,utut he got nono further. hector: : the taxi driver thougt he would bypass ththe pedestrian crossing by
driving onto the pavement. kholwe: it took him, it hit him, anand the driver hit the chchild and then came back, a and i'm se he was just thinking the child was not there, and i it came to inga again. hector: inga was pulled away from the cousin who was holding his hanand and then dragged undr the taxi and run over again when the taxi driver rereversed and then went forward again. ee taxi driver then fled e e scene but t was later r caught andnd arresteded at his hohome. narrator: many in s south africa say that mini-bus taxi drivers are especially reckless. the dririver in ingnga's case was licensed, but many aren't. this mini-bus taxi driver agreed to give his views on the problem.
driver: you see? interviewer: there's no training or anything like that to be a taxi driver? driver: mm...i can say nono. [indistinct] hector: breaking the law and being seen to get away with it, ththe behavior that's manifested by mini-bus taxi drivers is very, very visible to other motorists, and it creates a widesespread perception o of the lack of enforcementnt and
therefore of a general lawlessness on the road. narrator: in this case, the driver was taken to court, but initially he remains out of jail, something that infnfuriats inga's grandmother. [grandmother speaking localal language]e] [interviewer speaking local languauage] [grandmother speaking local language] interviewer/interpreter: i'm very angry. i want him to be sentenced. i want him to be inside jail and not outside. [grandmother speaking local languauage] interviewer/interpreter: he was a very creative boy. he used to draw and make cars to play with. and he loved food. [laughs] narrator: the driver did eventually receive a 3-year jail sentence. in the meantime,
inga's school continues to make huge efforts to protect its children. they organized what's called a scholar patrol to help children cross the busy road. they receive regular training providided by the department of trtransport. nokuzola: the little ones, the little kids, ththey are very cle to my heart. if i can k keep thm sasafe on the roroad, i'll be vy happy. i will sleep peacefully at my house knowing that i've saved so many lives on the road, espspecially the most vulnerara, the little children at primary schools.. narrator:r: one major p problems alcohol. up to 50% of drivers killed i in south afafrica havee blood alclcohol levels over the legal limit, as do 60% o of pedestrtrians who die o on the roads. theese gririm secuty c camera images were releasased as part f a road d safety awareness campan launched by the e governmentnt f the wesestern cape,e, which incs pe town. p public educucation is
paramount,t, but in a ununtry wheere a majajor pt ofof the popululation liv i in poverty,y, it's hardrd to get road safety high on n the publicgegenda. hector: : ordinary people are nt motivated by roroad safety asasa particicular issue. ththey wilhe otherer societal problems thatt they'll identifify before roadd safety, a and particularlrly ths like povertrty, equality, and employment. i rememberer a bail hearing g of a suspect who killd a couple of people, wherere the magistrate s said, it's a tragey when pepeople are killeled on te road or whenen people die on t e road, butut it happens. the e attitude prevailing very much h that this is just something that is inevitablele and that society should accept. narrator: in an attempt to shift attitudes like these, the western cape launched this ad, focusising on seatbelts. singege ♪ saw a a picture of you from the e other night ♪
narrator: the message is that a person without a seatbelt can fly out of their seat and kill the other passengngers. singer: ♪ just hold on now hold on tight we can stay together overnight just take my hand take my life we should stay together overnight ♪ [crash] man: we've got 4 dead. they say the one without the seatbelt did the damage. over. [siren] narrator: but how do you influence people? some research shows that horrifying people without giving them practical tools to avoid road crashes can be counterproductive. one group
in south africa approaches drivers directly with a positive message. ari: morning, sir. we're just creating awareness about roadd safety. no donation. we're from the quadpara association. we represenent quadriplegics and paraplegics. and we'rere just telling the plilic th, pleaease, will you sign n a pledge to use your seatbelt when you drive? narrator: ari seirlis' slogan-- "buckle u up, we don't wawant nw memmbers." h he's particularly persuasive about distractcted driving, especially because of cell phones. ari: why did d i make that call backck to the office, and here'm lying with a broken neck 'cause i got into a crash 'cause i got distracted, a and i had a crash? was i it worth mamaking the c c? the ananswer's no. narratator: it's s estimated tht through loss of earnings and direct costs to the government, south africa loses 10% of its gdp each year to road crashes. ari: if you become spipinal cord injured in south africica and yu haveve no resources, you becomoe completely depependent on the
state. it's gonna cost the state millions. who funds the state? the taxpayers. second of all, if you're working and you participate in distracted driving and you don't use your seatbelt and you crash, you now can't go back to t the workplac. the country cannot afford this amoununof road crcrashes. we've got to stop it somehow. [music]]
narrator: south africa's rate of road fatalities is the second-- highest in afrfrica at 32 per 100,000 per year. and it's representative of many middle-income countries where populations are growing and more cars are on the road. the united states has a relatively high rate fofor a developed country t around 11 per 100,000, but the good news is that it's been proven that these figures can be brought down. [engine revving] apart from world leader sweden, the united kingdom has halved its level to just under 3 per 100,000 in the last decade. the key elements were greater enforcement, road alterations, and public a awarene camampaigns like this. the video here is taken from a motorcyclist who
had a camera on his helmet and recorded hihis own n death. woman: i know he rode fast that day. he loved speed. tthe driver did't see him anand turned r right across his pathth. david didn't have time o take evasive action. david: whoa! narrator: givenen that the last 100 years has seen a massive increase in road trafaffic worldwidede, there's now a race between improved road safety on the one hand, and on the other, the sheer number of people on the road. in recent years, traffic fatalities have plateaued, but at the enormously
high number of 1.25 million a year, with 50 million injured. [horn honks] all experts agree that if this race is to be won, governments have to use a multi-track approach--the 3 es of enforcement, education, and engineering. this last includes car design. a recent united nations general assembly resolution calls on all car manufacturers to meet minimum u.n. safety standards by 2020. eddie: i'm looking for any lights that are visible. and it looks as though we've got a reversing light on thee red jeep that's... narrator: laws and policies are one thing, but ultimately, a great deal depends on the behavior of individuals. and one part of education is helping drivers focus more on safety. eddie: and at the end of the road at the stop sign, i'm going to turn right. so, mirror first,
then my signal. my position's good. it's an all-way stop sign. i'm going to gently brining the ccar to a ststandstill, reapply the signal... narrator: the running commentary you're hearing is a technique taught to advanced drivers to increase focus and awareness. eddie: and i'm turning onto a street that's 30 miles per hour. there's a car waiting to come out on the right-hand side. the driver's not looking at me yet, so i want to see them turn their head towards me. there it is, we've now had head contact. narrator: eddie wren is the chief instructor of advanced drivers of america. he's a former british police officer, member of the traffic escort t r the royal family,y, and chair of the inteternational road federation road safety group. eddie: there's nonoscaping ththe ffact that driving is always one of the most dangerous thingngs, statisticalllly, that you do, every day. and most of us drive every day. narrator: lesson one: everybody agrees that texting causes severe driver distraction, but
what about phones, hands-free or handheld? answer: both are equally y dangerous. eddie: f for handheld and hahands-free celell phones, rerh showed that the risk of having a crash while using those phones, a serious or fatal crash, was 4 times higher than for somebody who's not using a phone. narrator: lesson two. how much space should you leave between you and the car in front of you? answer: 3 seconds of driving timeme eddie: the argument that you don't need a long stopping distance because the e guy ahead has to brake, 95% of the time, maybe 98% of the timeme, is perfectly true. but what if? some things when you're driving only have to happen once in your enttire driving lifetime, and if youu're not doing it riright at that moment, you could die. [music]
margaret: in everything, we deal with statistics, but behind every statistic there's a human being. the people that are lost to road traffic accidents are normally young people, meaning it's not just the individual that suffer, but also their family, their relatives. narrator: road fatalities are a major priority for the world health organization, and we are halfway through the u.n. decade of action for road safety, which was launched in 2011. and one of thee new global sustainable ddevelopment g goals, sgg numbe, aims to halalve road dedeaths ad injuries by 2020. hshsi-pei and amy made their own contribution to enforcement and accountability by bringing
a civil suit against the driver who knocked allison down. he's now barred from driving for 5 years and hahad to pay compensation. their campaign also helped bring in a new law, which means that drivers in new york now face criminal penalties for killing or injuring a pedestrian on a crosswalk. we know how to make our roads safer, but will change come quickly enough to spare more children like allison and inga, along with their families? [music] nanarrator: coming u up on a fue episode of "21st century"... in india,a, a child is abducted every 8 minutes. most are girls.